How to Lower Your A1C Levels: More Steps You Can Take
You may be familiar with the “ABCs” of diabetes: A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol. This acronym is part of a larger diabetes campaign called “Know Your Numbers,” and hopefully you’re aware of all of your numbers — what they are, what they should be, and how often to get them checked. Obviously, knowing your A1C and knowing what you can do if it’s not at goal is a big part of diabetes management.
The focus last week and this week has been on all things A1C: what it is, what the general goal is, why it matters, and ways to get it to where it needs to be.
What else does it take to lower your A1C?
Figuring out how to lower your A1C to whatever your personal goal is can sometimes seem like solving a puzzle. You try something and it may or may not help, or it helps but not enough. Then you try something else. Yes, it can be frustrating, but eventually you’ll hit on a strategy that works for you. Last week, we looked at how a healthy eating plan (including keeping carbs consistent and sticking to an eating schedule) and a physical activity program can help. Research shows that an eating plan can lower A1C levels by 1–2%; physical activity can lower A1C by 0.6–1%, according to various studies. But what if these two strategies aren’t enough? Then what?
Time for medication?
Diabetes medicines generally lower A1C levels anywhere from 0.5% to as much as 3.5%. The A1C-lowering effect of medicines can vary from person to person, however, and the effect is often dependent upon how high the A1C is to begin with.
Insulin. We know that people who have Type 1 diabete Continue reading